Common Denominator… ME

I am the common denominator

I am self aware, self -analyzing and I know that when a pattern keeps rearing it’s ugly head, the common denominator is ME. So now I am looking at this dysfunction, and trying to see where I can refocus, and avoid this frustrating relationship pattern.
I am not one to sit on circumstances, or leave something unsaid; I find the best way to approach an issue and speak up about my feelings. My failing measure is my overly generous, understanding nature. I know, it sounds like a check mark for the Pro’s and not the Con’s side, but let me explain. I keep finding myself in situations where I am overly generous, giving too much of my time, my money and of myself. I can clearly say no when I want to, but when I see the best of someone’s nature, I want to help them grow. I want to be supportive, at the cost of getting little to nothing in return. Then I am feeling left taken for granted, under appreciated and dismissed… until the next time. I see the pattern, I recognize it and now it’s time to do something about it. I am tired of helping, being a great friend, with little to no reciprocation. I am always, un-apologetically myself, but this is a bad habit, a characteristic of my personality that I need to work on. I have been taken advantage of by a previous landlord, friends, and in relationships. I have paid for, and carried other people’s burdens; Due to my habit of being a caring and supportive person, at the expense of my own and my self worth. I am a single Mom, and I manage to support my family well enough. I do not suffer from low self esteem, as would be usual in such a habit as mine, in fact I like myself very much. I tend to have expectations of kindness on others, and am very cynical in all other social aspects. When it comes to my time, my generosity and my emotional support, I am open, and overly available. How do you change a personal trait that you enjoy sharing, without allowing it to be abused? So it’s no one’s fault but my own, I am responsible for having my feelings hurt. I am the common Denominator.

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He’s just not into you

When did the roles between Men and Women get so screwed up? As a single woman in her 40’s I just do not understand the formula for courting anymore. Maybe because courting is a thing of the past? I don’t know. What I do know is that I have certain expectations in the first few weeks of dating someone. Expectations that I hope would carry over into any possible long-term relationship.
As a woman I do not expect to “chase” a man. I expect the man to pursue me with small gestures; Good Morning/Night texts, calling to ask about my day, making plans to see me. I expect them to be happy to see me, or spend time with me. I expect a man to lead, and ASK me to follow.
As an FYI; (as a woman) the lack of these gestures makes me feel like plan B. As though the man isn’t “all that into me” just biding his time. I don’t need to Bide time with anyone. I do not want to be the stand in, the filler, or second best. I look forward to the exciting stages of getting to know someone. The first kiss, the grabbing of a hand walking, introductions to friends, the moments that happen in the beginning of any relationship… and hope to grow those into a meaningful connection.
When I have expressed this to Men I have talked to, or met briefly (due to a seemingly lack of interest on their part) I have been given the following explanations.

1. I didn’t hear from you so I didn’t think you were really interested.
A: Really, you didn’t hear from me? Why would a man expect me to call and set up a 2nd date?

2. I never know what to say because I like you so much, and you’re so beautiful.
A: Could’ve fooled me. Not calling, not following up leads a woman to believe a man is just NOT into her.

3. I saw online that a guy was commenting on your posts, so I figured you weren’t all that available
A: That is my friend’s husband, and I do have male friends.

4. You didn’t want to come to my place for dinner, so I thought you weren’t interested.
A: Why would I feel safe meeting a complete stranger at his home for dinner why would that be okay?

5. You said I couldn’t crash at your place after a few beers.
A: No my kids live at my house, and they don’t need to meet you at 7am on a Saturday, you live 8 miles from me; Go home.

So all I can come up with is: Men have gotten Lazy.

Not all Wounds are Visible

Someone recently said to me: “ I guess I should just take a bullet to the head, I just lost my finance, my home and I hate my Job” I was taken aback, dumbfounded really. So I retorted with: “Did you really just say that to me?” “ Starting over at 20 versus 40 is easier, and you’re lucky you don’t have kids to take care of” Her response was: “ But you’re stronger than I am” So I am writing this to make a few things visibly clear, and understood. I was not, nor have I ever been unaffected by the things that have happened in my life. Being Strong is a choice, and breaking down in front of someone is a privilege. The things she said were directly aimed at me in the sense that my late husband died by his own hands, he put a gun to his head. Suicide is not something anyone should take lightly. Not for attention, drama or to hurt someone else. I have had to start over in my life, being strong was the only choice I had, to provide and care for my children.
When I divorced a man I thought I married for the rest of my life in 2014, I lost more than I could afford to lose. Picked up the pieces, gathered my kids and started over yet again. So for the record, this wasn’t a hurt, panic stricken declaration of desperation from this person. This was an attempt to gut punch me with her words. She was unsuccessful, instead I started self analyzing. I have a hard time being vulnerable with most people, especially in person. I can verbally express my thoughts, views and opinions without emotion. I can clearly write about my past experiences, and describe things in detail. What I can’t do is TAKE you there. I can’t go back there, and make you feel what I felt. I can’t do that again. I can’t make anyone understand how the little things add up, or how difficult it is for me to cry. I can tell you very matter of fact, how anything and everything played out, without even a hint of it in my voice. What I can’t do is show you. The bruises fade, the bones heal, and the scars make me who I am now. The words from previous relationships still sting, and the PTSD reveals itself from time to time, but the fear is well masked. Not all wounds are visible, but they do make me who I am.e470407a0a2ae1a362f7dd9658a93175

Lessons

That man you thought was interesting was only interesting because he was with Her. What you liked about his eyes when he smiled, it’s no longer there. That light in his eyes belonged to her. The potential you thought he had, it’s in her value of him, not his own. That man that you thought would be your hero is now as lost as you are. You make excuses for bad behavior, not because you love him but because you need to win. What you don’t see is that in winning you have lost his respect. In winning you have lost your dignity. In winning you have cost him damages, and a love lesson. In winning you have lost your self-respect. The lesson will still be there, after everything is said and done. The love lesson will remain until it is learned fully. You are only wasting time, yours and his. You can only alter the lesson’s pattern but you cannot change it. You cannot teach a lesson you have not mastered. And you cannot both be students in the knowledge. So keep your offenses and poor judgments, the excuses too. Keep your sense of satisfaction; maybe it will carry you through. But remember, you cannot keep what does not belong to you.

What are you looking for in a mate?

Being a single, full time parent; I am having a hard time in the dating scene. Whether online or in the world, dating is ridiculous anyway. Having six children, even with two grown and on their own; My least favorite question is if my kids all have the same father. My sarcastic sense of humor wants to respond with “No, I call them by their last Names.” But I don’t. These potential suitors are practically strangers to me. I just explain that I was widowed with 5 kids, remarried had my youngest and Now I am divorced. It’s difficult explaining to strangers life events that were beyond our control. Actions by previous partners that we couldn’t change. Then there are the questions inquiring about drama in our lives based on parenting time. I am grateful that I do not share my children with anyone. I have full custody of my youngest and am the only living parent of my other children. I don’t get weekends off, but I also do not suffer through court dates, visitations and child support issues. The only consistent men in my life over the last 7 years; I raised. I also get attached to other people’s children. My Best friend’s kids call me Aunt… my kid’s friends call me Mom, I am a nurturing person,by nature.
I am also frequently asked what I am looking for in a life partner. Again my sarcastic tongue has a witty, maybe off putting reply that I swallow hard. I am looking for someone that I haven’t yet met, someone I cannot compare to anyone I have ever known before. If there is a comparison available it is probably a negative one. Because people are Human, it is difficult to not use previous experiences to map out our steps towards what we do want in future experiences.
Anyone with any common sense knows, that first impressions are better if they are generally positive. So saying what I want, in comparison to negative experiences is an arduous task.
I am looking for a stable, family oriented, responsible male( within my age group) that is willing to befriend my children in an emotionally supportive manner. Someone that does not have a previous abuse record, current drug habit,or anger issues. Someone that is comfortable parenting his own existing children in a respectful manner, who is up to date on support payments. I am looking for someone that is interested in the details of my life experiences to better learn and understand my flaws and goals as a person and parent. I am looking for someone who wants the same things in life, shares the some of the same interests, and wants to build a bridge between our lives, as a foundation to keep building together. These are just my basic expectations, and do not include the extra intimacies of affection, gifts, or chivalry.

An Open letter to the Woman After ME.

An Open Letter To the woman after Me:

I am not your enemy, although I do not think highly of you; I am not the type of person to spread rumors. Other people do gossip about you, I am guilty of listening and just nodding. I shouldn’t have allowed them to tell me such awful things about you, but I did. He might say that I am stalking, or even crazy but what you don’t realize is I don’t want him. I don’t want a man that will text me from your bed, or hiding in your bathroom. I don’t want a man that would do that, to anyone. It makes me wonder who he was texting when he proclaimed to love me. I don’t want a man that blames his bad behaviors on alcohol, or hurt pride. I refuse to be with someone that doesn’t want to take responsibility for his actions. I think what you did and said to me was wrong. I think that you wanted him all along, and really any man worth taking is worth keeping; You can keep him. And when you find the screenshots, text messages and Snap Chats, you can keep those too. His Words are JUST words, and I deserve so much more. So run your mouth, refuse to serve me, and people will learn just what’s really going on. He is playing you, because I refuse to play.

The last time

After twelve years of being in my abusive marriage; I stood up to my husband and abuser one last time. Hours another abusive incident, I drank a glass of wine to build up the courage I needed. I told him again, that I couldn’t live like that anymore. I found myself repeating that like a mantra the day I filed for Divorce. My husband was obsessive, controlling and physically and verbally abusive to me, and to our 5 children. I had left before, even hid from him, but as soon as school started wherever we were, he’d find us. I turned him in for Child Abuse, only for him to get a slap on the wrist. I turned him in for Domestic abuse, and was told I needed to leave our home. The state we lived in was not a Community Property state, and that limited my rights as his wife because I was not on the mortgage.
That day in September was cool and rainy; He called over and over until I broke down and finally answered. First he begged to talk to me one last time about the divorce, just to settle things. I told him that there was nothing left to talk about; I had filed a restraining order.
An hour later he pulled into the driveway. He promised me he would change; he’d get help, and never hit me again. I knew the routine, so I braced myself and told him this was all said and done before. Then, like a Summer Rainstorm with the heat rising from the ground; He lunged at me, and told me that he refused to live without me. He threatened that I will not belong to anyone else. He pushed me against the door and said: “His children will not know another man, and call him Dad”. He shoved me again, and told me “this was my last act of defiance”. And then he left without another word. I watched him from the bedroom window, and thought to myself: That was too easy. 

I went back to folding laundry, when I saw His company truck pull into the driveway. A feeling of dread and nausea washed over me, then I saw he had something that looked like a gun in his hand. Remembering his threats of “ Death do us part, and knowing what he was capable of, I ran. As he came into the house through the garage, I ran out the front door. I got into the Family car, and quickly drove away. I did not know where I was going to go. I was driving down back roads, and avoiding the freeway. I stopped, in the middle of a dirt road, to think. Took a deep breath and fished my cell phone out of my purse. I dialed 911. The operator asked me for my location; 2 cross roads, and sent an Officer out to find me.
Those were the longest 15 minutes, as I waited in the car counting the revolution of the windshield wipers. I hadn’t noticed the rain, or that I had turned them until then. 

The local Police Department knew me fairly well, after 13 restraining orders in the same county they start to recognize a name or face. The officer asked me what happened, and told me that he will go by the house do a welfare check on him. That I should go pick the kids up from school myself. So as I drove I called the children’s Schools and tried my best to not break down. The Secretary of the elementary school knew something was wrong, and put the principal on the line. I asked him to please not let my husband pick the kids up from school, that I was on my way. Without missing a beat he said:” He will have to go through me to get to them.” I picked my older children from their school and made my way to the Elementary school. The Principal was waiting with my 3 younger students in his office. He didn’t ask me questions, he just smiled and told my kids to have a good day, and he’d see them soon. He politely handed me a business card for Lacassa. (A women’s and children’s advocacy center and shelter in our county that aids victims of Domestic Violence)
Driving made it easier to act as normal as possible in front of the kids. But they were more aware than I was comfortable with. My cell phone kept ringing but I refused to answer. Until my teenage son told me, this time it was my Niece calling. When I answered; She asked me directly what was going on. I told her he knows I filed for a divorce, without taking another breath she said:” I’m on my way, we will get a hotel and hide like last time.” So we set a place to meet, and she drove 2 hours from college to be with me. 
I arrived at Lacassa and the counselor there helped me file an amendment to the existing restraining order to keep him from taking the kids out of school.
She informed me that due to the time it was it would not be signed until the next morning. She told me to not go home; but somewhere he wouldn’t find me. He called me ten minutes later, from an unknown number asking me where I was, and if I had the kids with me? I told him: ” I know where I am, where are you?” He didn’t answer, He asked me:” Why are the Police looking for me, I didn’t do anything wrong…yet” I hung up and turned my ringer off.
I drove to another town, and met my niece at a Holiday Inn as we had planned. We booked two rooms, under my Niece’s name and ordered pizzas for the kids for dinner. The kids knew why we were at a hotel on a school night. They didn’t ask questions and I didn’t know what to tell them. We had pizza and went over homework and I tried to act as calm and normal as possible.
The next morning, I got the kids up early to have breakfast in the lobby of the hotel. I hadn’t slept, and was trying to not look over my shoulder, and cause them to fear. A strange funeral home commercial came on the Lobby television, with obnoxious, celebratory music, and my stomach turned over. 

After checking out, we drove the hour to the County Court house to pick up the signed restraining order. The clerk explained to me that I can take the kids by the house, that there was an officer there, and then I can take them to school; that the restraining order would give the district a legal way to keep the kids from my husband. So I did as she suggested, to keep things as Normal as possible. 
The house was quiet, unlocked and very much as it was when I left. I told the kids get ready for school and then dropped them and copies of the order off at the schools.
I spent the rest of that afternoon with my Niece at Home depot buying new locks and large boards to put behind sliding glass doors. I called my younger sister and her husband offered to help change the dead bolts, told me what drill bit I needed and they met us at the house.
In the middle of drilling a new hole in the Metal door, a large man walked up to the house, asking for me. He asked me to step outside with him, and then preceded to blur my mind with his detective’s badge and questions about when I had last seen my husband. I explained to the Detective that I had run away from my husband the day before because I felt threatened, and that I had called the county police about the incident. He then told me that a restaurant worker found my deceased husband at closing. The world started spinning faster, and I broke down. My Sister and Niece heard me and came outside to see what was going on, and then called my Brother, and Mother.
My Brother only lived a few minutes away and came immediately, when he arrived the Detective told him that if I hadn’t had the instincts to run, that he believed that my husband would have taken the entire family. He went on to say, that typically when someone is intent on ending their own lives they only buy enough bullets for themselves. My husband bought 2 full clips and a semi automatic. They found him in his work truck in a neighboring county, behind a restaurant and bar. My Older Sister picked up my children from school that day, and took them home to her house so that I could calm down, and figure out how to tell them about their father.

My family knew the children and I were being abused, they knew how many times I had left, and just how many frustrating times I gave into the fear, into him and went home. My family knew that I had reported the abuse, only to have to face my abuser again after court. 
 My friends were aware things weren’t right at home, but being a friend to someone who is being abused is often difficult and frustrating. I over heard someone say the day before the Funeral, ” I knew he was crazy, but I didn’t think he was that crazy” 
I never wished for my husband to end his life, I actually never believed he would. However, I believed he would end mine, believed him enough to fear him, and go back over and over again. Believed him enough to endure the abuse, both physical and verbal. Believed him enough to grab my kids and Run, because living with him was killing me slowly. My husband was cremated and put to rest, Sept 28th of 2010. 
The day that changed my life was Sept 22nd, 2010, the day that I refused to give in to the fear. The day that I trusted myself, and told my Husband, father of my children, Our Abuser that was the LAST TIME.